Creating reports is an art and a science, but only to those who understand the power and potential of an amazing report. For many, though, reporting is tedious and time-consuming process that involves a lot of repetitive work, analyzing the data and putting it into digestible content, and simply giving the higher-ups something to be dissatisfied about. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
For SEO, for example, reporting is a crucial process that will gauge the performance of a long-term SEO approach and help gear the entire company in the right direction. When you look at it from the perspective of its business-altering potential, you’ll quickly realize that creating more engaging SEO reports is the way to take the company forward as a whole. Of course, only if the higher-ups act on the reports, so all the more reason to improve your report-making process.
Here’s how to do it.
Start with objectives and processes
You might think that your superiors are just interested in the key takeaways and that they’ll gloss over everything else. Rest assured, though, that a report with the right structure and flow can have a big impact on the higher-ups and that organizing the report properly can help steer them towards making the best decisions down the road. To that end, your report should start by the SEO objectives and the processes you think should be used to reach them.
Typically, SEO goals will be pretty straightforward – elevate your digital presence, increase organic traffic, expand your backlink portfolio, improve technical SEO, decrease bounce rate and improve engagement, and the like. The goals should be outlined at the top of your report.
Moving along, the reader will want to know what procedures you used to try and attain these goals. Be sure to outline every process you employed for every goal and what actions you took within a specific timeframe. Highlight the goals you have already achieved and how you did it, and then present new goals and their complementary tactics.
Outline the roadmap towards these objectives
Aside from having a tactic to fit every goal, your report should outline a clear roadmap for your SEO strategy and the months, or even years ahead. Decision-makers like to observe the grander picture, and so they like being able to see how the SEO strategy will unfold over months and years. That way, they can strategize about other aspects of the company’s digital presence, forecast and make projections more accurately, and minimize risk as much as possible.
With that in mind, make their job easier by creating a detailed, data-driven roadmap of where you think your efforts should be focused to meet various SEO objectives. This roadmap should be backed by expert opinions, industry trends and forecasts, consumer trends, potential socio-economic and political shifts, search engine changes, and more. Don’t overcomplicate things, though, and use language that the reader can understand to drive the point home.
Combine data from other marketing strategies
Even though SEO is a crucial element of digital marketing, it’s not its only foundational pillar. Your company is probably employing various marketing strategies at the same time to elevate the brand’s standing in the digital world, so it’s important to perceive SEO as a part of a grander goal. To that end, your SEO report should incorporate and reflect on other marketing methods you’re currently using.
Incorporating data from paid ads, social media, email marketing, and more within your SEO reporting software will give you and your superiors the bird’s eye view needed to make better long-term decisions. After all, every marketing tactic feeds into one comprehensive marketing approach, and to maximize SEO effectiveness, you need to monitor and report on all other tactics within your strategy.
List all KPIs and create key takeaways for each
There are many key performance indicators that SEO experts need to monitor at all times. Backlink performance, website speed and responsiveness, organic visibility and traffic, branded searches, bounce rate, all of these and many other KPIs deliver invaluable information to the marketing managers and the decision makes in your company.
So naturally, you want to list all KPIs in your report along with notes and key takeaways for each. Make it easy to go through the numbers and graphs by using different colors and bold fonts to emphasize any negative or positive trends.
Draw your conclusions but don’t just summarize
The conclusion can be the most important part of the whole report, but only if you know how to structure it. Many marketers will make a conclusion that simply summarizes the report, but that’s not enough to make an impact on the client or the higher-ups.
Rather, you should summarize, prioritize, theorize, and lay the foundation for the upcoming period. Make your conclusion actionable and give the reader a clear idea of what needs to be done next. You’re the SEO expert, so make sure they act on expert advice instead of their own interpretations of the report. This is how you will be able to influence the course the company takes.
SEO reporting is an art and a science, and if you implement these tips, your reports can make a big impact. Be sure to leverage the tips above to up your reporting game and influence the higher-ups to make the best possible decisions for their business.